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Minister talks tough on machete gangs


HOME Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe has warned machete gangs that the police would soon catch up with them.

Speaking in Mazowe during a clean-up campaign on Friday, Kazembe warned that police had upped their game to match the violent gangsters who recently claimed the scalp of a police officer in the Battlefields area near Kadoma.

“Law enforcement officers are on high alert ready to deal with machete gangs. Several perpetrators are now in police custody as we speak and nobody is above the law. All cases will be dealt with,” he said.

Kazembe’s warning came just as the Prosecutor General (PG)’s office issued directives to all prosecutors to oppose bail in all violent cases involving machetes.

“We have noted with concern the upsurge in the number of cases of violence involving the use of machetes, especially by illegal artisanal miners. In a bid to stamp out the scourge, you are hereby directed to oppose bail and to request custodial sentences in the event of any convictions in all such cases,” wrote Justin Uladi, the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Government is working on a cocktail of solutions to curb the machete violence menace that has left many dead, injured or battling for life. Most machete attacks have been reported in Kwekwe, Kadoma, Chegutu and Mazowe.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the solution included giving powers to the police to shoot on sight gangs wielding machetes and banning the possession of the weapons.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said six more suspects had been arrested on charges of killing Constable Hokoyo in Battlefields.

Nyathi said Tonderai Musasa (18), Richwell Tshuma (26), Bornlight Mukute (20), Paul Demo (27), Taurai Munetis (31) and a minor aged 14 had been arrested.

He said the suspects surrendered the weapons used to commit public violence and in the murder of Hokoyo.

Nyathi said Demo and Munetsi were arrested while hiding at a house in Gweru.

Nyathi also announced another case in the Mphoengs area, Bulilimamangwe, where a machete-welding gang teamed up with unruly elements to free a robbery suspect, Nkosana Moyo, from police custody.

“The gang went on to attack police officers injuring one in the process,” he said.

“During the scuffle, police fired shots resulting in one suspect aged 35 being shot and passing on at hospital. The released suspect, Nkosana Moyo, only surrendered himself to the police this morning while still in handcuffs.”

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